I hope this email finds you well as we round out our second actual week of summer break. Let me first introduce myself to those of you who haven’t met me yet. My name is Travis Whaley and I’m the new Director of Bands here at Summit. I most recently came from James Martin High School as an assistant director, and before that, I ran the band program at Liberty High School in Henderson, Nevada (a suburb of Las Vegas). I’ll put my full bio at the bottom of this email.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I was so impressed with the culture of the Summit Band that I observed while at movement camp a couple of weeks ago. The most notable trait was the kindness each student had when I introduced myself to them and (attempted to) learn all their names – we’ll see how much of that name learning sticks when we come back to summer band!
I know I’m putting the cart before the horse here on a few subjects below, but I’ll be sending a couple more emails before we meet again in July to clarify some things as I keep learning new information. So much information coming your way!
The BAND app – New this year! (Action Required)
Something new to the Summit Band program will be the integration of a powerful, secure, safe, communication app that will act as the hub of all of our official communication within the band and is crucial that every student (and parent) has access. Follow these instructions below to set up your account:
Go to your app store on your phone and download BAND. (Can also be accessed from your internet browser at https://band.us/en) The icon is green with a lowercase “b.” Students will need to use their MISD email to sign up. Parents can use personal email.
2. After your account is created, click in the text box next to the magnifying glass (not the +).
3. Type in and join the following: Summit Jaguar Band (for both parents and students), and Summit Jaguar Band Boosters and Parents (for parents)
Within the group, we’ll be able to post pictures, videos, educational materials, drill, coordinate sheets, music, scholarship information, itineraries, packing lists – I mean, you name it, it’ll be on the BAND. The google calendar is also synced up to our BAND so you can see all the upcoming events in one spot. Please turn your notifications ON for this app!
Students – you will also notice that there are specific chat rooms on the right side of your screen. Join the appropriate chat for your concert band, and your instrument family. If there is specific information regarding one of your concert bands of instrument family, it will be put in the chatrooms to keep the main notification wall a little less cluttered.
Show Music – there may be a surprise for you under the “attachments” sections of our BAND… It’s the 2022 show! …I’m terrible at surprises… Mr. Garcia and I will post part assignments in the coming days, but go ahead and peruse at your convenience.
Parents – although I haven’t had time to speak with the boosters about this, the band app is a powerful tool that has built in options for creating polls, volunteer sign ups, and even though I know nothing about this, can now take payments for items we may be selling, plus so much more more.
2022 Remind Codes (Action Required)
Please sign up for the appropriate Remind classes. Open the app and join with the class codes, or text 81010 with the @ followed by the class code in the message.
|Remind Group||Class Code|
|All Summit Band members||@sjb2223|
|All Summit Band parents||@sjb2223p|
Welcome Our New Percussion Director
We’re excited to introduce our new percussion director Mr. Chad Solis coming to us most recently from John Horn High School, a graduate of TCU, and Lewisville HS. His bio is listed at the end of this email!
Welcome Our “New” Guard Director
Many of you already know Ms. Sam Sorensen. This year, she will officially step into the role of Director for the color guard. I’m really excited to work with her and see what she has in store for the team. Her bio is also located at the end of this email.
I have created our calendar of events using a google calendar that can be synced up to your phones. You can check out the VERY TENTATIVE calendar by CLICKING HERE. If you need a guide on how to sync your calendar with various programs, CLICK HERE. The calendar will also be linked on to our website: www.summitband.com soon. As I gain access to more information, I will be updating the calendar!
This has been my project for the past week(s). I would like to introduce an updated version of the Summit Band handbook. Many of the policies were copied from the old handbook and reformatted to look a little more modern, as well as mixed in with policies from a handbook I built for Martin a couple years ago – the information is essentially the same, but please read through it at least once so you’re all in the know. Rookie members especially! The district forms that were part of the old handbook have not been added to the back of this handbook yet either.
The most up to date handbook will always be available on our BAND, as well as on the website.
No More Charms
We will be moving away from Charms this year. Their financial statements are hard to read, and deposits are not easy to make. Instead, I have a rather powerful Excel spreadsheet that my accountant friend made for me that generates clear, easy to read statements that can be emailed out to you. I will work on creating a link on the website where you can fill out a google form to request a statement and I’ll email it out to you.
I’ll also send out statements monthly as well as payment reminders (which are all due the first Friday of the month – see the handbook for details on that)
New fee structure – slight increase from years’ past
Speaking to Mr. Kanicki a couple weeks ago, he suggested that we increase the band fees this year by at least $100 this coming year in order to maintain the quality instruction and opportunities our students have had in years’ past. In order to spread out this $100 increase, we’ll tack on an additional $40 to Activity 1 and 2, and add $20 to our uniform fee. This should cover most of the increases of cost of items that the band uses.
It’s that time of year – time to go to your local doctor or clinic and get your annual physicals. More details on this soon, but we will need those physicals completed before the student can participate in any marching band activities.
I look forward to meeting and working with all of you soon. Once Mr. Garcia, our program coordinator Wes Cartwright, and I nail down the final details of the show, we’ll schedule a student and parent meeting where we can introduce the show, talk about some of the things I outlined above, and answer any questions you may have.
Looking forward to a great year,
– Mr. Whaley
Mr. Whaleys bio
Travis Whaley is currently Director of Bands of Mansfield Summit High School in Arlington, Texas. He was most recently an Assistant Director of Bands at James Martin High School from 2019 – 2022. Prior to Martin High School, Mr. Whaley was Director of Bands at Liberty High School located in Henderson, NV from 2012 to 2019 where the marching and concert band consistently earned superior ratings and the Southern Nevada Band Association Sweepstakes Award since the awards’ existence. Prior to Liberty High School, Mr. Whaley taught at Cannon Junior High School for two years where he was also a student for 6th and 7th grade.
Mr. Whaley earned a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University in 2015, and Bachelor of Music Education in 2010 from Northern Arizona University where he studied trombone with David Vining. While attending NAU, he held the position of Drum Major for the Lumberjack Marching Band for three years, was an officer of the schools’ chapter of NAfME and was a founding member, Historian, and President of the Kappa Xi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. He was a member of The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps playing baritone in 2008, and held the position of drum major in 2009, and 2010. After his age out, he has traveled almost every summer with the corps as a tour manager.
Outside of school, Mr. Whaley teaches private trombone lessons, writes marching band drill, fights a crippling Cheez-it addiction, enjoys a gratuitous amount of couch time with his cat, Cat-Cat, and his pug, Puglee, has a current DIY project happening to his house, and will talk about Star Trek anywhere at any time.
Mr. Solis’s bio
Chad Solis is the Assistant Band Director/Director of Percussion for Mansfield Summit High School. Mr. Solis grew up in Lewisville, TX and graduated from Texas Christian University. During his time at TCU, he was a part of the Horned Frog Marching Band, wind ensembles, basketball band, steel band, and the award-winning Percussion Orchestra.
Before coming to Mansfield Summit High School, Mr. Solis was the Director of Percussion at John Horn High School in Mesquite, TX for three years. Under his direction, the John Horn Jaguar Drumline won several awards including 1st place in their division at both the Lewisville Drumline Invitational and the Lone Star Classic Drumline Competition in 2021.
Prior to John Horn High School, Mr. Solis was an Assistant Band Director/Director of Percussion at Castleberry High School. While at Castleberry, the band qualified for UIL State Marching Contest in 2018 and the Drumline won best percussion at two local contests. The Sub Non-Varsity band also earned Sweepstakes under his direction.
Before becoming a Percussion Director, Mr. Solis taught with several award-winning programs including Lewisville HS, Byron Nelson HS, Little Elm HS, Creekview HS, and Kaufman HS. His students have earned spots in the All-District, All-Region and All-State Bands.
In his free time, Mr. Solis enjoys playing video games and spending time with his dog, Lucy, and two cats, Disco and Ruca.
Ms. Sorensen’s Bio
Samantha Sorensen is a Summit High School Alum and was a member of the award-winning Summit Band. Ms. Sorensen performed with the Summit Guard for four years and served on the leadership team for two years. During her senior year, the SHS Guard traveled to Dayton, Ohio, to perform in the WGI World Finals competition. After graduation, Ms. Sorensen studied Elementary Education at The University of Texas at Arlington. In 2014, she returned to WGI World Finals as a member of Brenham Independent Winterguard, where she served as captain and earned the WGI Independent A silver medal.
Ms. Sorensen received her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Texas at Arlington and is pursuing her Doctorate in Higher Educational Leadership at Texas Christian University. Ms. Sorensen’s teaching experiences include Mesquite Poteet High School, Rider High School, and Argyle High School before returning to Summit in 2016 to work with the SHS Guard